2018 – Uganda is Ebola-Free – Traveler Health Advisory

Posted by on August 8, 2018

Safari Travelers Update – Uganda is Ebola-Free in 2018

The 2018 Ebola Outbreak is in the Democratic Republic of Congo and not in Uganda or Rwanda

Uganda is Ebola-Free in 2018 – that is as another unfortunate Ebola Outbreak has occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo which neighbors Uganda and Rwanda.  The Ebola Outbreak in the region is being handled differently than the one that caused havoc across the African Continent in 2014 – 2016 when fear took over as the outbreak raged in Western Africa killing many including Health workers. 

It was during that outbreak that wholesale cancellations came into African Tour Companies based on erroneous fears and misreporting. We have noted that the reports in the Western Media once again use a Paintbrush to portray the worst of Africa and there seems to be by some (to the African Reader) an almost gleefulness in reporting that the dark continent is once again disease-ridden and since this outbreak is in a conflict zone proves their point that Africa is a continent of wars and conflicts which for the most part it is not. 

Nevermind that your chances of becoming ill from contaminated Salads at McDonald’s in the USA are much more likely than you getting Ebola visiting, Dying from E-Coli from contaminated Romaine lettuce may be a higher risk that you contracting Ebola in Africa, Uganda or Rwanda on a Safari.

If any country is prepared to deal with Ebola should the unlikely case occur where Ebola comes into Uganda, it is Uganda (How Uganda stopped Previous Outbreaks).  When it comes to hemorrhaging fevers Uganda has repeatedly demonstrated that its response Teams are top-notch and during instances of some hemorrhaging Fever the death rate has been dramatically reduced and the outbreak contained. One also remembers an outbreak of Ebola near Kabale in Southwest Uganda during which time there was not one cancellation, we continued on with our Safaris and bypassed the area, which once again was an isolated village 

The Present outbreak in DR Congo is in the troubled by strife Northern Kivu province, the regional capital is Goma.  The closest town of major proportion is Beni which about 150 kilometers from Uganda.  The border has been described as well as Rwanda’s border as porous.  They obviously do not know, live, or have been to Uganda’s or Rwanda’s borders.  Uganda and Rwanda have a heavy military presence made up of crack-troops

 Measures also have been taken by both Uganda and Rwanda to make sure that no one with Ebola enters the country, these are the same measures that are enforced as someone flies to Kigali, Rwanda and or Entebbe, Uganda.

In Uganda Medical Ebola Teams have been dispatched to the border, regional hospitals near the border have fresh stocks of supplies needed should an outbreak occur inside of Uganda and Rwanda is doing the same.

As many as 30 have died in DR Congo from the latest outbreak, over 800 are suspected of having been contact with those that came down with Ebola, villages are being sealed off to prevent further outbreaks.

Presently Uganda is Ebola-Free as is the rest of East Africa.  Uganda is one of the few African countries with experienced medical staff that know how to contain an Ebola outbreak as demonstrated in the past and based on other disease outbreaks in the past such as the Marburg Virus.

Out of all countries that Ebola could spread including Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, South Sudan, the Central African Republic it is Uganda which is best equipped to handle an Ebola Crisis, a fact that has been historically proven out by its past dealings with Ebola.

 Uganda is Ebola-Free in 2018 and the government intends for it to remain so.  People arriving in Uganda are being screened for the Ebola Virus including at Entebbe International Airport.  The Ministry of Health is ready to deploy staff should Ebola raise its ugly head in the Pearl of Africa.

In 2018 unlike in the past, we have received no emails from our clients regarding the Ebola Outbreak. The health and wellbeing of our Clients and anything that would adversely affect their Health.  With that in mind, we will update this page for the duration of the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Logic is often lost at times when it comes to Africa.  Just this week someone was considering canceling a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda because of two tourists being kidnapped in Virunga National Park in the Congo.  Uganda is not the Congo, and the problems of the Congo are not in Uganda except that Uganda welcomes refugees.  If a disease breaks out in Marseille, International travelers would not cancel their plans for Vienna or Prague.  Sadly that same standard is not often applied when it comes to African Travel and Uganda.

Ebola is a dreadful disease, we can only hope for the Best when it comes to the D.R. Congo, may it be quickly contained.  It the meantime we suggest that African Travelers stay on top of things by reading the BBC updates about the outbreak.  Uganda remains open and welcoming. Just use Common sense and a Dash of the Hakuna Matata Safari Attitude, and take your Doctor’s advice and for your sake, stay out of the North Kivu Province of DR Congo.

Preventative Measures against Ebola you can take in the case an outbreak takes place

  • Avoid contact with other people’s blood or body fluids which includes sexual contact.
  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with a person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment).
  • Avoid contact with wild animals or with raw bushmeat.
  • Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling a dead body. 

Statement from the American Embassy in Kampala August 7-2018

 Update on the Response to the Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Uganda maintains enhanced surveillance and has response systems in place to deal comprehensively with Ebola. The airports and border posts are conducting relevant entry screening. The National Task Force has been activated and rapid response teams have traveled to districts closest to the affected provinces in DRC. Key activities include public health risk mapping to assess movement patterns, enhanced surveillance, screening, and hand washing at points of entry in high-risk districts, alerting other districts about the need for enhanced surveillance, and assessing preparedness in high-risk districts.

Note- The US Embassy has not issued a Travel Advisory of any kind suggesting that you should not visit Uganda.

In Case there is an Ebola Outbreak in Uganda while you are on Safari with us

We would make an immediate assessment of your Safari Itinerary and give you the options including that of terminating the Safari.  When we have had Ebola Outbreaks in Uganda in the past, the villages where the outbreak was put off limits and we simply avoided being near the area which included a wide safety margin/ No one canceled their safari and asked to be evacuated.  

 Your Wellbeing on Safari in Uganda is probably more on our minds than on the minds of our clients

When a problem such as an outbreak as Ebola occurs in the region, we post it on our website. This is not a common practice, we normally do so  way ahead of the Uganda Tourism Board or the Ministry of Tourism, the reason is simple, unlike the Meda whose reporter may write from distant Capetown or Cairo, we live in Uganda, we have families that we are concerned about, we work here and part of our work beyond guiding clients to incredible Primate and Wildlife Encounters is protect and ensure their wellbeing while our guests in the Pearl of Africa.

If there any updates to the current Ebola in DR Congo we will post it here our Website on this page whre we try to bring the reality on the ground instead of just perceptions by the media.